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Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS

Damión Reid: On Drum Artistry, The Robert Glasper Trio, and Beyond

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International drummer Damión Reid has crafted a style that is inimitable without sacrificing the ardor of modern jazz and its traditional stylistic approaches to drumming. Listening to Reid is like a history lesson on the drum--he can play everything with artful dexterity from Be-Bop to Hip Hop. Adrian Kirchler, owner of AK drums, was so impressed by Reid's performance at a concert that it inspired him to create a snare drum entitled, “The Damión Reid Signature Model." However, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Guitars Galore: Major Vistas, Joe Policastro Trio, Dan Arcamone, Charlie Ballantine, Sound Underground, Kay-Ta Matsuno

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A brief overview of several notable 2016 contemporary jazz releases featuring guitarists. Major Vistas Minor Anthems Self Produced 2016 A fresh approach to the jazz trio, and the debut release from Madison, Wisconsin's Major Vistas. Keyboardist Mike Weiser says he thinks of it as a modern “organ" trio, but he tends to use Fender Rhodes sounds more than Hammond low tones for the bass. The band cites guitarists John Scofield and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

JD Allen: Americana

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JD Allen is an artist who always delivers. He is also an artist who takes risks, willing to explore his limitations, and then break them; to expose his vulnerabilities, and reflect upon their source and meaning. His experimentation is not obvious. It spirals inwards, orbiting the central axis of jazz, while traversing its various trajectories with elegance, depth, and intense regard to produce deeply personal statements that draw in audiences and listeners like moths to flame. His latest ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Danish Radio Big Band: A Good Time Was Had By All

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To mark its fiftieth anniversary in 2014, the Danish Radio Big Band produced a wide-ranging six-CD set encompassing highlights from the years 1964-2014 while spotlighting a number of well-known guest artists from the U.S. and elsewhere. The band is heard in studio and in concert, at home and abroad, and is sometimes referred to as the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra (having begun life as the New Radio Dance Orchestra). All of the material herein has been previously ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeremy Danneman: Lost Signals

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Lost Signals is the third Jeremy Danneman Ropeadope Records release from a series of sessions recorded in the fall of 2013 with bass icon William Parker, percussionist Tim Keiper, and guitarist Anders Nilsson. You might think that after culling tracks for Lady Boom Boom (2015) and Help (2015) from these sessions, that a third release might be scraping the barrel's bottom. If you did, you'd be wrong. The tracks on Lost Signals are as strong as the previous two discs.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jan Mulder and the Jazz Winds Chamber Jazz Ensemble: Soundscapes

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It opens with crackling fire, a ferocious roar of Mother Nature. Against the cookie-cutter atmosphere of much contemporary jazz, “The Thunderstorm" is a startling anomaly; jazz songs don't usually open to bolts of electricity. But straying from the norm is at the heart of Soundscapes, the new album from Jan Mulder and the Jazz Winds Chamber Jazz Ensemble. It's a concept album -the tracks are labeled as suites -without a straightforward narrative yet tell a story in images of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Axel Erotic: In Love With

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French drummer-percussionist Sylvain Darrifourcq describes In Love With, his trio Axel Erotic debut album, as “the curves of the desire imprisoned somewhere, in a space with an implacably rectilinear geometry. But it's also a pink sky pastel, something of our sexual, epileptic and short-lived world." An apt description of Axel Erotic, a trio that is comprised of classically-trained musicians who like to experiment and improvise on the format of acoustic, chamber jazz.Darrifourcq, known as the drummer of saxophonist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Baggetta: Spectre

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Mike Baggetta has produced a number of quality recordings over the years yet Spectre may be his most compelling project to date. The guitarist delves into some “live" sound processing which include an array of delicate textures, sampling and loops undoubtedly influenced by ECM recording artist David Torn who mastered this release. Though the set ventures into mysterious soundscapes they're rooted in melodicism which equally underscores the inventiveness of Baggetta's trio with bassist Jerome Harris and drummer ...


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